Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline

No matter how long you have been smoking, you can start experiencing the benefits of quitting smoking within the first hour. If you’re curious to know what happens after you quit smoking, we have the answers.

Man and woman jogging outside

Health Benefits Timeline

Your body starts to get back to normal when you stop smoking, helping alleviate the negative effects of smoking.

20 minutes

This first positive effect happens only 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Your blood pressure and pulse rate start to return to normal.1

8 hours

After 8 hours, oxygen levels in your blood return to normal and the levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide are reduced by more than half.1

Carbon monoxide crowds out oxygen in your brain, causing problems in your muscles and brain because they do not receive enough oxygen.2

By increasing in oxygen helps support tissues and blood vessels that received less oxygen while smoking.

24 hours

By 24 hours, your risk of a heart attack begins to decline.2 Carbon monoxide which has been affecting your oxygen levels has been eliminated from your body. Your lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.

48 hours

After 2 days there’s no nicotine left in your body. Your ability to taste and smell is greatly improved as your brain nerve endings begin to heal.2

72 hours

By 3 days, breathing becomes easier. Your bronchial tubes begin to relax, and your energy levels increase as your lungs start to recover.1 These changes make air exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen easier for your body.

2 to 12 weeks

Within 2 weeks of quitting smoking, you start breathing easier. Circulation and oxygenation improve throughout the body, making walking and running a whole lot easier. You can exercise without feeling as out of breath and your risk of heart attack has decreased even more.2

3 to 9 months

By 3 to 9 months, your energy increases.

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems get better as your lung function is increased by up to 10%. You can take deeper, clearer breaths. The fibers in your bronchial tubes regrow, helping you handle mucus, clean your lungs and reduce potential infections and cold.3

1 year

By 1 year, your heart-attack risk reduces by half compared to a person who still smokes.2

Your lungs have improved over the year, and you will notice how much easier you can breathe and how much less you cough.

3 to 5 years

Your heart-attack risk falls to about half that of a smoker.3

10 years

After a decade, your risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

Other cancer risks, like, larynx, and pancreas cancer decrease.3

15 years

By 15 years, your risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.1

The long-term benefits of quitting smoking

Three women enjoying pastries and coffee together

People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely to die from smoking-related illness than people who continue to smoke. If you quit smoking before 40, you reduce your chance of passing away prematurely from smoking-related diseases by 90%, if you quit by 45-54 you reduce you change of passing away prematurely by two-thirds.4

Quitting smoking helps you live longer. If you quit between:

  • 15-24 Years: approx. 10 years longer
  • 25-44 Years: approx. 9 years longer
  • 45-54 Years: approx. 6 years longer
  • 55-64 Years: approx. 4 years longer

Even if you are past this age, studies show that people who quit smoking in their 60s had a lower mortality risk than smokers.4

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), like NICORETTE® products, can help DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES® of successfully quitting smoking.

Physical Benefits of Quitting Smoking

You’ll also experience these physical effects when you quit smoking3, 5

  • Teeth are whiter and breath is fresher
  • Skin will look and feel better
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Decreased risk of oral cancer
  • Decreased risk of heart attack
  • Increased lung function; decreased risk of COPD
  • Less irritability
  • Decreased risk of urinary tract cancers
  • Decreased risk of erectile dysfunction